10 Sections of a Modern Resume

There is no denying that resumes are not what they used to be. With the transformation of the job market fuelled by the technological advances of applicant tracking systems, social media and web-based recruiting, the modern resume is a different creature that requires far more than before.

A common mistake job seekers make is not using the proper tactics to ensure their resume is seen by the right people. This is especially important when applying using an online application system. It is imperative that resumes are built in the most effective way to yield the best results. Here are the main components along with a diagram of a modern day resume.

1. Format

The overall look of the resume is inviting and easy to read. A splash of color added to the dividing lines, bullets or name builds character and helps it stand out. The amount of white space is reasonable, words are not crammed on the page and the font is size 10, 11 or 12.

2. Header
The header is clear and can’t be missed. The name is the most noticeable item on the page, and it includes a working phone number, professional e-mail address and a LinkedIn profile url. A physical address is not as important as it once was, so it’s not a necessity.

3. QR Code
QR codes are creative and innovative. Adding a personalized QR code on your resume is a nice touch and adds credibility to a job seeker’s personal brand (http://blog.resume-evolution.com/2012/07/what-is-your-personal-brand.html) You can also add a QR Code to mini-resume cards, business cards, cover letters or anything other self-marketing document.

4. Headline
A strong headline is key to catching the readers’ attention. It embodies the personal brand in just a few words and tells the reader who the candidate is and what he/she has to offer in a quick and concise manner.

5. Quoted Recommendation
It’s a powerful enhancement to add a past employer’s words into a resume. Not only does it strengthen claims of being a wonderful employee, but it adds a unique variation to the monotony of a traditional resume.

6. Qualifications Summary
The summary of qualifications is unique and strong. Cliché words like “strong communication” or “team player” aren’t used. These phrases are replaced with accomplishments that portray these commonplace skills.

7. Core Competencies
Core competencies or key skills cleverly incorporate industry-relevant keywords. Each skill listed is emphasized and demonstrated elsewhere in the resume. It’s one thing to claim that you have a strong ability to build client relations, but it’s another to back up that claim with quantifiable results (see #7).

8. Professional Experience / Career Highlights
Professional experiences are accomplished based. Each position include a quick blurb about the role and responsibilities and 3-5 bullets containing measureable data on any positive impact to the organization’s bottom line, internal processes, customer base or productivity level.

9. Education
Any education, certifications and formal training gained are listed as well as the name of the institution, the degree and the area of study. Listing the graduation year, your GPA or a description of coursework really varies based on the job seeker’s focus.

10. Additional Sections
Professional Affiliations, Community Involvement, Publications and Technical Expertise may be included, depending on the background of the job seeker and the requirements for the pursued position.

As you update your resume and adapt it for the various jobs you apply to, don’t forget to consider who will be reading it (or screening it) as this should dictate the type of resume you send, and what you include within it.

For this post, Doostang thanks our friends at Fresh Transition.

About the author: Melanie L. Denny is a certified professional resume writer who has partnered with numerous clients from a wide range of industries to create unique, compelling self-marketing tools. With expert knowledge in resume writing concepts, modern job searching tactics and effective keyword strategies, she has a passion for helping job seekers reach their long and short term career goals and remains a reputable source on job seeking techniques.


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